Archive for the '38.Two kids-Sept 09' Category

The next big step

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Most of our recent posts have focused on travel, but there’s something major on the horizon that I haven’t really discussed here: my return to work. After a four-month break, I head back to Stanford on Monday. I’m looking forward to jumping back into things and re-connecting with my colleagues and friends there (thank goodness I love my job!), but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat sad. Just like Zoe and I once were, Avery and I have practically been inseparable since June 19 (the longest I’ve been apart from her is 3 hours, I think), and I’m really going to miss her constant companionship. I don’t want to idealize maternity leave – the truth is that there have been some really rough moments – and a break from your baby is always a good thing, but I feel like things are just starting to get really good, and the timing of my return is somewhat unfortunate. Now Elena, not me, is the one who will benefit from the sunnier days and from Avery’s smiles and sweet coos.

With that said, I felt the same way when my first maternity leave came to a close (I remember looking at Zoe and just bawling days before I returned to work), and everything turned out fine. Zoe and I quickly got into a groove – I welcomed back the challenges and stimulation of work and Zoe flourished at Elena’s – and we had our Fridays together to look forward to. And looking back, I don’t feel guilty about having worked when Zoe was that small or feel like I missed out on that much. (I totally agree with a magazine article I recently came across on the benefits of a mom’s return to work: “You’re providing for your family, showing baby that moms can wear many hats, and benefiting from a sense of fulfillment that comes with your day job.”) I felt, and still feel, close to Zoe – and I know it will be the same with Avery. It will be an adjustment, I have to remind myself, but we will be fine! And I might not even bawl this time around.


More from Madison

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Another trip has come and gone; Avery and I got home yesterday afternoon. Avery was a great little traveler yet again (the last photo captures how she spent most of her time on the plane), and though she was on a bit of a napping strike when in Madison (too much going on, I guess), she was still in good spirits. I’m so glad we went – Avery got to meet some of my family and friends (including Cousin Aimee below), and as I told Avery while waiting for our luggage, it will be a fun trip to reminisce about someday!

Here are some more of my fave pictures from the trip.











Photo shoot

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

When a baby meets family members for the first time, most of his/her time is spent cuddling and posing for photos. Here are a few pictures from an impromptu photo shoot with Aunt Sandy the other day. The first is my favorite!




We made it (again)!

Friday, September 25th, 2009

So, Avery and I are in Wisconsin! I had been a bit nervous about our flight yesterday, but everything went really, really well. (Avery was a real trouper, barely fussing at all, and I was touched by all the people on the plane who lent me a hand with various things.) Once on the ground last night, Avery met her grandpa for the first time – and today she met her Aunt Sandy. Here are some early pics.





The preschool era

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I once promised to post how I felt about Zoe going to preschool, and I thought it made sense to do so once we were all a bit adjusted. I’m not a big fan of a change, so it was initially hard for me – I missed Elena and felt sad that the school schedule meant I would have less time to spend withZoe each day. (With Elena, we could take her/pick her up anytime I wanted, and I often kept Zoe home for portions of the day. For consistency’s sake, that’s not the best thing to do with school – so I’ve had to say good-bye to our AM outings.) I also mourned the fact that this was the end of a chapter in Zoe’s life, and the fact that she was now a “big girl” who had outgrown daycare.

Now that it’s been a few weeks, though, I feel better. Zoe seems really happy there – she’s always coming home and talking about what she did that day, and for the first time, a small group of kids ran up to her today and yelled “Zoe!” in excitement. (It reminded me of what used to happen every morning at Elena’s.) It also helps that we’ve gotten into a bit of a groove in the mornings and afternoons; on most days, I pick Zoe up, get her into pajamas (a trick to prevent a bedtime tantrum) and do what I’ve dubbed “Mommy Storytime.” Zoe picks the books, and us girls sit in Avery’s room and enjoy some quiet time. The best part? It’s something we can continue even when I return to work.

We may have said good-bye to some things when Zoe started preschool, but it’s comforting to know we can always create new traditions!



Some thoughts on traveling

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Being the worrier that I am, I’ve always fretted about traveling with kids; my primary concerns were that Zoe would cry and fuss and that everyone on the plane would hate us. There have been a few rough moments on various flights, of course, but the truth is that we’ve never had any major problems when flying with Zoe. And, I’m happy to report that adding Avery to the mix hasn’t been too difficult (yet): on our recent flights, she mostly slept (see below) or sat in my arms quietly. But traveling involves a lot more than just getting to and from your destination – and the hard part often involves dealing with kids once you’re on the ground. Zoe can get quite grumpy when off-schedule, and Avery clearly has a tough time adjusting to the new time zones. (It was rough on both ends of our recent trip, and she hasn’t slept a normal night – i.e. waking up just once to eat – since before we left.)

Despite the rough moments, and my anxiety about them, we’ll still continue to travel. (And I’m even doing a first – flying alone with the baby – tomorrow. I’m nervous, but trying not to stress too much about it.) Our families live far away, so we don’t have much choice, plus Q and I made a pre-Zoe vow not to let kids keep us on the ground. And besides, as my mantra goes (and as with everything involving parenting and little kids), it will get easier!



An innocent question

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Our trip produced lots of fun moments, but one of my favorites occurred on Sat. evening when Zoe and the rest of the family watched PopPop lead a service at synagogue. Zoe was quiet and attentive until Q’s dad finished and headed back to his seat – and she asked him loudly (in an otherwise silent room), “Are you done, PopPop?” I know kids are supposed to be quiet in situations like this, but it was such an innocent, sweet question that I couldn’t help but laugh.


Our week in Washington

Monday, September 21st, 2009

We made it back home yesterday afternoon, and our flight was great. (As much as I fretted about flying with two, I don’t think it could have gone better.) I’m too tired to write much (unfortunately, last night was a very long one for me and an off-schedule Avery), so I’ll just say that we all had a wonderful time and mention that the first thing Zoe said when she got home was, “I miss Safta and PopPop.”

Here are some of the best pictures from the week.











Three-month update

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Q has been saying for months that he couldn’t wait for Avery to turn three months. His thinking was that by that age, the baby would have more of a personality and would be on more of a schedule – and the eat-sleep-change parenting grind would be lessened.

He should be happy now, because Avery is three months today. And as he predicted, Avery is indeed more fun to be around and easier to take care of. She’s a fairly mellow baby: though as a newborn she cried if she wasn’t being held or hugged, she’s now often content to hang out on her own. (She likes to sit on her Boppy pillow or vibrating chair and take in the world with her big eyes.) She recently started smiling, and now she’s constantly grinning, cooing, and squealing. And if you say “Hi!” to her, it sounds as if she tries to say “Hi” back.

Like Zoe, Avery is a pretty good sleeper. She takes 3-4 naps during the day and, though she teased us by sleeping through the night (about 10 PM-6 AM) a few times, she typically wakes up once a night for a little snack. It’s usually not difficult to put her to sleep; she’s fond of being bounced and sung to, and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the ABCs are among her favorite songs.

She still eats 6-7 times over a 24-hour period, and because of her love of milk, she has experienced a healthy weight gain. Our “little” baby is now more than 14 lbs.

Zoe discovered her thumb when she was about three months old (and she still loves it!) but Avery is fond of her entire hand at this point; she spends much of her time munching on her little fingers. And by next month I’m sure we’ll have many more interests/activities to report on!


Family shots

Friday, September 18th, 2009

It’s taken a few days, but I’m finally posting a few pics from the first part of our trip. We’ve had tons of family time so far – and since G-G-ma, Great-Aunt Wendy, Uncle Dan and Jenny all arrived yesterday – we’re sure to have lots more. And on another happy note, the girls are finally used to the time-change; Avery slept for seven hours straight last night. Of course, they’ll have to adjust to another time-zone in just two short days – but we’ll think about that later!






We made it (yawn)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

So, we made it to DC. We arrived Sat. afternoon, after a relatively smooth flight that consisted of only a few minor outbursts from the girls. (I still felt like crying when getting off the plane, but that was mostly from exhaustion – and relief!) I was so focused on flying with the girls that I hadn’t given much thought to what things would be like once we got here; I conveniently forgot about how jet-lag might impact them. So how have they been? Avery is quite off-schedule – and wanting to eat numerous times in the middle of the night – and Zoe has had several grumpy, fatigue-related moments. But we’ve also had lots of fun bonding moments (and shopping expeditions) with Safta and Pop Pop, and I’m sure the girls’ schedules will get turned around soon. (After all, we’re here for a week.) More pics and updates soon…


We’re off!

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

We’re heading to DC this morning – we’ll be there for a week, so our posts might be a bit infrequent. We’re excited about hanging out with family and just relaxing – and we’re hoping for the best in terms of air travel. (If we’re lucky, maybe Avery will be as happy on the plane as she is in the pic below!)

Have a great week!



Little bears

Friday, September 11th, 2009

One of my favorite pictures of Zoe as a baby is one of her in a little bear sleeper. It occurred to me the other day that we hadn’t taken a similar picture of Avery – so we quickly did a wardrobe change and plunked her in the crib for a photo shoot. We didn’t quite get the shot I was hoping for, but at least we tried. (And it’s a good thing we did: the sleeper is almost too small for her!)






Lashes and coos

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Avery was born with no visible eyelashes (as I’ve mentioned before) – so I was fairly taken back when I looked down at her recently to see a set of long, full (blonde) ones. How, I wondered in amazement, could I not have noticed that her lashes were growing? Do I not see her every day?? I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised – after all, when you live with a child it’s easy to miss the the subtle (but ultimately major) physical changes. One day you literally wake up and think, “Wow – when did she get so big?” Or, in this case, “Wow – when did she get those lashes?”

One change I’ve definitely noticed, though, is Avery’s “talking.” She (thankfully) has reached the stage where crying isn’t her sole way to communicate; about a week ago, she started cooing and squealing on a regular basis. It’s fun to hear, and the video below contains a few coos. (And look closely – maybe you’ll notice her lashes too!)


Bye, bye, balloons

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

A bunch of pretty, pink “It’s a Girl!” balloons have been floating around our house for the past 11 weeks, and the last of them finally deflated and made their way to the garbage last night. (It’s amazing that they lasted so long!) I’m usually sentimental about these things, but the timing of the balloons’ demise actually felt quite appropriate: after almost three months, the novelty of having another baby, one who probably can’t even be called a newborn any longer, has somewhat worn off. I’m not saying I’m not still excited about having Avery here, of course, but the initial shock/thrill/fear(?) that comes from having a second is gone. We’re finally adjusted to being a family of four, I think, and things are getting easier and – as Avery does more cooing, smiling and squealing – more fun. I compare these days to the first few weeks, when we were basically in survival mode, and I’m grateful we’re past that!

More changes – and ones bigger than the disposal of balloons – are on the horizon, and I’m sure I’ll have mixed feelings about them. But for now, I’m feeling happy about where we are and okay about exiting the newborn/pink balloon era.